Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 20, 2012

Big game at Notre Dame for Niagara

Niagara Gazette — It has already been the most challenging early-season schedule the Niagara Purple Eagles have faced in 15 years, and the biggest challenge is still on the horizon.

Niagara (5-6) travels to play No. 22 Notre Dame (11-1) tonight on national television (7 p.m., ESPNU, WECK 1230).

The Irish have won nine games in a row since losing a neutral-site game to St. Joe’s on Nov. 16, with one of those wins over defending national-champion Kentucky. They rank as one of the top 10 offensive teams in the country, according to kenpom.com.

“Sometimes, when you watch a lot of tape, even with a good team, you see things that are vulnerable,” coach Joe Mihalich said. “The more you watch this team, the more you realize how good they are. They don’t foul, they control the pace of the game, they only play seven guys but everybody is good.”

A busload of fans will accompany the Purple Eagles on their second trip to South Bend, Ind. under Mihalich. Back in 2005, Niagara lost 80-59 in front of 8,053 fans at Joyce Center. The Purple Eagles finished 11-18 that year while the Irish wound up 16-14. 

Niagara has played four ranked teams since 2004, most recently last year at Missouri. In past seasons, however, a game like this was the exception on Niagara’s non-conference schedule, accompanied by a dozen games against teams from smaller conferences.

Twelve games into this season, Niagara will have played six teams that qualified for last year’s NCAA tournament — Notre Dame, New Mexico State, St. Bonaventure, Vermont and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference foes Loyola and Iona. The Purple Eagles have also played Oregon State, a Pac 12 team that is off to an 8-2 start, and a Bucknell team that is favored to win the Patriot League and received a single top 25 vote this week from John Feinstein.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page